Jury Verdicts Make a Difference: NHTSA May Reopen Jeep SUV Fire Probe
The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said today that the agency may reopen its investigation into over 2.5 million Jeeps that have rear-mounted gas tanks. “We’re not satisfied with the current situation so we are looking for every avenue that would be appropriate for us to take action,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind in a meeting with reporters at the New York International Auto Show. “Given all of the stuff that’s going on, we want to figure out what else we can be doing.” Chrysler has agreed to make changes to the dangerous Jeep models, but NHTSA has repeatedly criticized Chrysler for the slow pace of fixes; the company didn’t start fixing them until August 2014, more than a year after they agreed to the recall. Rosekind said today the repairs are “not happening fast enough for us.”
This news comes a week after Butler Tobin, along with Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak, won a $150 million jury verdict on behalf of Remi Walden, who was killed when the Jeep he was riding in caught fire. The jury found Fiat Chrysler acted with “reckless or wanton disregard for human life in the design or sale” of the Jeep and assigned 99% of fault for Remi’s death to Chrysler.
The announcement that NHTSA may reopen its investigation into these dangerous Jeeps is a clear sign that jury trials make a difference–what 12 jurors decide after hearing the facts and evidence in a case truly matters. Whether in Georgia or elsewhere; whether against Chrysler or some other company; Butler Tobin fights the powerful, and we win.